The Yale College Council’s executive board has made an effort this year to improve its relationship with the President’s Office with the help of University Secretary and Vice President for Student Affairs Kimberly Goff-Crews.
Goff-Crews, who was appointed to the newly-created position in the President’s Office, met with members of the YCC’s executive board last week as part of a larger initiative to familiarize herself with Yale College student groups and organizations. The meetings, which will occur on a regular basis, mark an increase in the YCC’s level of contact with the President’s Office compared to years past. The YCC also hopes that discussions in the meetings will lead to a closer relationship with Provost Peter Salovey — who was appointed University president last week -— when he assumes his post next year, YCC President John Gonzalez ’14 said.
“This new relationship with Secretary Goff-Crews is an important setting to talk about more macro issues on campus, including alcohol policy,” Gonzalez said. “We’d like to work on formalizing the communication process between YCC and the President’s Office, so that when confidential issues come up, student opinions are brought in.”
Currently, the YCC’s only interaction with University President Richard Levin comes through weekly meetings with the president’s assistant, Pilar Montalvo, and meetings with Levin himself once a semester. But Gonzalez said he does not think the YCC’s interactions with Levin should be restricted to these meetings with the president’s assistant. He said he hopes to “formalize and make more effective” the relationship between YCC and Salovey with the help of Goff-Crews.
Salovey said in an email to the News that he “certainly” plans to hold regular meetings with the YCC, adding that he worked closely with the group when he served as Yale College Dean from 2004 to 2008.
This year, the YCC will continue to interact with the University president only through Montalvo, he said, and the YCC’s relationship with Goff-Crews will be their most direct line of communication to the President’s Office.
“Secretary Goff-Crews knows all the moving parts of the University and can help tighten YCC’s relationship with the president,” Gonzalez said. “I would love to see the YCC Executive board meet with the new president once a week or once every two weeks, so that there can be more of a consistent conversation.”
Gonzalez added that he hopes the President’s Office will consult Goff-Crews for detailed student input when contentious issues arise.
Goff-Crews said “constant relationships and [increased] open communication” between the President’s Office and YCC would better help administrators understand student concerns, adding that she hopes to start a precedent of “more student contact on a more regular basis” between YCC and the President’s Office.
YCC Events Director Bryan Epps a’14 said he is looking forward to collaborating with Goff-Crews because he is excited to work directly with an administrator who is willing to put time and effort into developing a relationship with YCC.
Gonzalez said that in his weekly, hour-long meetings with Montalvo, the two discuss general campus issues, such as policies on sexual misconduct and alcohol. He added that he aims “to convey student opinion,” and Montalvo debriefs Levin after each meeting.
Former YCC President Brandon Levin ’14 said he communicated with Richard Levin through the same channels as Gonzalez. Levin also interacted with the President’s Office through weekly meetings with the president’s assistant, then Nina Glickson, and he added that Levin was “also available on email to me.”
Levin created Goff-Crews’ position of vice president for student affairs last January.